5 Ways to Get the Most From Your Hearing Test
Congratulations! Scheduling a hearing test is the first step on the path to better hearing. You can prepare and get the most out of the appointment by bearing these five simple steps in mind.
1. Colds and flu
You know how your hearing is often muffled when you have a cold or flu? This is because the tubes connecting your ears to your throat become blocked. In turn, this causes pressure changes within the middle ear which then presses on the ear drums and affect your ability to hear.
Also, as part of the hearing test the audiologist measures the movement of the ear drum and the movement of the small bones in the middle ear. These may be dampened down when you have a head cold.
With this in mind, the ideal time to have a hearing test is when you are well. Consider rescheduling if you’re under the weather.
2. Wax removal
Just like wearing earplugs, a big buildup of wax within the ear canal impairs your ability to hear. Since part of the hearing test is working out the limits the loud and soft sounds you can hear, having waxy ears could give an artificial reading.
Therefore it’s a good idea to clean your ears a few days ahead of the hearing test. If you suspect a heavy wax buildup the audiology clinic or your physician can recommend someone to professionally syringe the ears.
Alternatively, buy some ear cleaning drops and use them several days in a row for the week leading up to the appointment.
3. Quiet time
Our ability to hear can be artificially reduced when we are exposed to loud sounds. This is what we experience after attending a loud rock concert or noisy nightclub, where you stumble away and find yourself holding a conversation in a shout.
Again, in order not to get false results, avoid exposure to loud noises in the hours leading up to the appointment. This doesn’t mean you have to go into isolation, but avoid bogeying on down to a disco beat at full volume in the time immediately before the visit.
4. List of questions
Should hearing loss be diagnosed, think about any questions you might want to ask the audiologist and write them down. For example, you may want to know:
- What happens if I do nothing?
- Do you recommend a hearing device?
- How will a hearing aid fit with my lifestyle?
- What are the options for hearing devices?
Planning ahead and writing the queries down means you’ll be sure to cover everything you want to know.
5. Take a friend
Consider taking a friend or family member along to the appointment. This is perfectly normal and many people do it.
Having an extra pair of ears means you’re less likely to miss important information and have all the facts you need to make an important decision about the future of your hearing health.